The government has estimated an amount of Rs88 billion that will be required for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as reconstruction of houses damaged during the on-going military operations in three tribal agencies, it was learnt. Informed sources told Business Recorder that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told the recently held All-Party Conference (APC) that his ministry has made an initial financial assessment of Rs88 billion for the rehabilitation of IDPs and repair of houses damaged due to the on-going military offensive against militants.
According to the National Action Plan, as announced by the Prime Minister, the rehabilitation of IDPs would be the top priority of the government. Immediate measures would, however, be taken for the return of the North Waziristan IDPs and development programmes undertaken in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata)
Talking to Business Recorder, Ghazi Gulab Jamal, parliamentary leader of the elected representatives from Fata in the National Assembly, confirmed that estimates have been prepared for three tribal agencies including North Waziristan, where about one million people have been displaced due to the operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Similarly, Khyber Agency and Orakzai agencies are also among the affected areas where Khyber-I and Khyber-II military operations are under way, due to which thousands of people have been displaced.
He further said the APC was told by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that his ministry has planned to recruit 8,000 youth from Fata in security forces to eradicate unemployment in the tribal areas, which is one of the major issues among others.
“We, as representatives of the Fata presented in the APC the case of the tribal people and their plight due to the ongoing militancy and the military operations…now it’s up to the government to transform its promises into actions,” Jamal said, adding that the problems of the IDPs should be addressed at the earliest.
He further said the Prime Minister also promised to initiate a special package for the people of FATA who are the worst victims of terrorism.
Ajmal Khan Wazir, central vice president of PML-Q and the spokesman for the Fata reforms committee, said the tribal areas are an the frontline of the war against terrorism and the government needs to put its development on top of the agenda.
“When we talk about reforms in Fata, I would like to urge the government to consider the 11-point proposals unanimously prepared by a representative committee of all political parties,” he added.
He stated the committee, represented by all political parties, including Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islam (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) and PML-Q, has recently finalised proposals with consensus.
The committee proposed that peace should be guaranteed in Fata and a comprehensive package should be prepared for infrastructure development with special focus on health, education and employment.
The panel also recommended that Article 247 of the Constitution should be amended to guarantee fundamental rights to all tribal citizens and shift legislative power from the President of Pakistan to the Parliament. The future status of Fata should be decided by its people through a representative Jirga of all the tribal agencies while the Jirga system should be made more democratic and independent.
Besides, the committee also recommended that the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulation should be abolished and the executive and judicial powers should be separated in Fata.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT